Saturday Mar 12, 2022
LONDON: Former cricket captain Shahid Afridi has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan “over-promised” and “over-committed” before coming into power after the 2018 General Elections.
Afridi is currently in London to raise funds for his charitable organisation, the Shahid Afridi Foundation. He also took part in the Kashmir Premier League’s (KPL) event at Pakistan High Commission where he spoke to the journalists.
Afridi, who is one of the most mercurial characters of the cricketing world, said that Imran Khan should have first come into the government and then made a realistic assessment of the situation.
“He should have come into the government with proper homework and an efficient and sincere team. He still has time to do it,” Afridi said.
Afridi said politics is not like playing cricket as its realities are harsh and different and those who believe in the inclusion of all — without believing themselves to be know all — eventually succeed.
When asked a question about the no-confidence motion by the Opposition against the PM, Afridi said that as a sportsman, the prime minister “must have taken a lot of stress during his cricketing days and must be taking stress today as well.”
“Politics is a different ball game. It’s so different that Imran Khan had to visit Bahadurabad (MQM’s Karachi office). It’s a totally different ball game. Politics is not about ‘me’. There is no ‘me’ in politics. This country belongs to all. There are good and bad people in both the Opposition and the government. Not everyone is bad, you have to take everyone with you. Pakistan is for all,” he said.
The former cricket captain added that things would have been very different in Pakistan today if PM Imran Khan had taken everyone along with him.
He said that no individual but the institutions should have the right to give National Reconciliation Order (NRO) to others.
“Let the institutions take the decisions. The power of NRO should be with the institutions. The NRO doesn’t rest in the hands of the PM. Strengthen the institutions, let the institutions develop and function and let the institutions give NRO.”
Afridi went on to say that PM Imran Khan has done some great work — such as the introduction of health cards and dam constructions initiative — but the cricket hero blamed the failure of his team to project it properly.
“It’s not that Imran Khan’s government has done nothing at all. He has done some work but his team is unable to showcase it. His team cannot showcase the big works they have done. There has been some good work but Imran Khan made huge promises before coming to power. It will take time for those things to come to fruition — requiring at least 10-15 years.”
Afridi stressed that it was not possible for an individual to run a country like Pakistan.
When asked if he plans to join politics, Afridi said: “I only know one type of politics that I have been doing for nearly eight years and that’s the politics of serving others. I try to serve others through my foundation as much as I can. I am not saying I will not join politics in future but I don’t want people to say that I take U-turns.”
Afridi said that Pakistani people need help as remote areas of the country lack even basic facilities.
“I have hone across Pakistan during COVID. I can say that with confidence Pakistan is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I want to say why is it that our armed forces have to get involved in everything, why they have to work at places where the government should be delivering and working. I have been to the Line of Control (LoC), Balochistan and Kashmir border. I have seen the efforts of the army everywhere. I want the government to be working there.”
Afridi said that initiatives like the KPL have brought out great talent from Kashmir and showed Kashmir to the world.
Afridi singled out Najam Sethi for praise for launching Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the country.
Afridi said: “I have always praised Najam Sethi for launching PSL because it has produced amazing talent in the country.”